Italy was cold and rainy when I went in April. It was also very beautiful with lots of new growth and flowers, especially lilacs. I wore my trench coat with a silk shirt most nights, For daytime wear, I wore long sleeve tees with a jacket over a vest or just a jacket or vest depending on the weather. My pants were black knit. I only took carryon luggage, because we did a lot of traveling. I wore the same shoes every day, comfortable black oxfords. Have fun, and enjoy the wonderful food and beauty of Italy.

Sal, I am Italian and live in Northern Italy and Angie is right: Spring is not warm. You can have some very warm days, because it is so unpredictable, but in general it is on the chilly side. Better to be prepared. Is there a chance that you will be in Milan?

Thanks Cee.....I don't do cowl necks but I will take a warmer jumper.

Thanks Bonnie- we are looking forward to it very much.

Sisi we will be in Milan for 1 and 1/2 days!!  I wonder if we could have coffee together?  I will send you a message.

I will likely swap a few things around:

- add in a jacket such as below
- two scarves
- add in white leather sneakers instead of flipflops
- Long sleeve top x 2 or 3 (one a tee, one a merino sweater)

That leaves me with

  • four bottoms (one skirt, one culottes, one jeans, one soft pants)
  • four light weight tops
  • two long sleeve tops (one new)
  • one light jacket- gold bomber
  • one merino sweater (new)
  • one puffer (new)
  • two sneakers, one sandals, one oxfords
  • one raincoat or trench coat
  • two scarves
  • - one hoodie, two gear tops, two running tights

Maybe - dress 

Maybe not - oxfords/blush tee/one pair running tights  - if no room these are first on the chopping block!

One of my gear tops is a merino tank that can be worn on hot days for a walk or under jackets or even as a cami..... 

I have two more weeks of not shopping and then three weeks to find these items.....  The only one I would definitely buy is the puffer - I think I could pick up the others in Italy  and this could be fun!

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If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you. afab trip. When I do carryon travel to Europe I rely on merino wool tops and jackets, particularly in the cool season. Merino socks are also key. Shoes are always a challenge. Typically I bring a pair of running shoes, a black leather lace up, and a slip on to wear around hotel. The one travel shoe to rule them all is my unicorn. Bring a hat and gloves!

Uhh, Sal... I live in Australia !

Haha - I meant SiSi who replied earlier!! Oops - if Milan works for you do join us .

Yay Sal, that would be great!

My brain shut down after seeing "three weeks in Europe."

Sal, take a swing up North and I'll meet you at Lake Constance

Sal, it sounds like a fab trip and I’ve read with interest. It sounds like it could be chilly. Layers and a puffer sound like what is needed.

Sisi and Sal, Mum and I are going to Milan for the first week in April. If by chance our timings worked, a quick meet up would be really super.

Sisi - oh good!! I will message you.

Jane we will be in Milan first week of May sadly - we arrive in Italy in mid April and leave 3/5 - Milan is our last stop!

Fashintern - that would be fun but I have booked our holiday now and we don't head that far north....

Viva - it is exciting - at the moment daunting but I always get like this before a trip!!

Oh my brain wasn’t daunted; it was EXTREMELY jealous!!!

I think the capsule you are building is lovely and I’d love to take that trip.

I'm no good at trip wardrobe planning, but love seeing the wisdom on this thread and hearing about your plans. Sounds amazing.

Jane, I would be very pleased to meet you and Mum!

Sal, this has been so helpful to me so thank you. I thought it would be warmer and I’ve dropped the thought of bare legs. Thank you. I hope you have a lovely time. I love Milan, I like the trams, the stunning street art, and food and style,

Sisi, how lovely, I will PM you, thank you.

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I love packing posts! Thank you for sharing your strategies and dilemmas.

Don’t know Italy, but agree with more versatile layers.
Also the idea of getting your jackets and shoes sorted locally, whereas scarves, accessories would be fun vacay finds, along with anything serendipitous . ( take at least one scarf anyway). It’s no fun to be cold or have sore feet and feel you are focusing on shopping for a dire need.
Nanopuff jacket is good idea as mentioned if you run cold. Some versions are available inexpensively, vs top gear brands.
Another type of layering that works for me is a knit blazer + rain shell. Both of these can be rolled up and stuffed in a day travel tote/ backpack. Plus a long sleeved knit top.
I think skirt+top that looks like a dress would be versatile if you have that option, or a warmer knit dress.
I also layered silk ( of merino for very cold) UNDER my pants or jeans and can use for jammies. Or, some breathable tights that can be worn with dress.

I super struggle with footwear, as it is very hard for me to avoid a more gear type shoe and be comfortable on long walks and being out and about all day, , though with pants I can aim for that kind of “ European comfort - walking shoe” / sneaker look, in a dark color.

We leave today!! Here is my capsule!!

Not shown:

  • Long sleeve black cotton tee
  • Maroon merino tank (in travel outfit below)
  • Mustard scarf ( in travel pic below)
  • Running shoes
  • Pink underarmour hoodie
  • Black Nike leggings
  • Black sports tank
  • Black and white backpack

I am light on tees (two tees, four tanks, one long sleeve tee) but I may well buy one or two along the way!! I am also after a handbag, decided to take this mini bag for nights out and my backpack for day trips plus a simple tote for any market shopping we may do.

My only question is - gold bomber or leopard cardigan. The bomber works over the two piece dress and is good with jeans. The leopard cardigan would layer under the pink light puffer if needed. The underarmour hoodie would not really work with either but I would layer if desperate as you do!!

Very excited!! Will no doubt log in along the way:)

PS temperatures look similar to here right now so thinking a tank and jacket, or a tee and jacket will be about right. My warmest would be the merino tank, a hoodie or long sleeve top and the puffer.

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The gold bomber gets my vote. It could double as a swimsuit cover-up, and you could layer bunches of layers under it. Sounds like a fun trip. Have some arugula and some gelato for me.

I'm loving all the print you've included. It's so easy to go all solids on travel capsules.

Thanks Joy - that is my temptation too. The hoodie will be for walking or for cosy nights in at the villa eating arugula salad (and pizza!!)

Thanks UmmLila - print shows less marks. I have a fair bit of black (four tops, running tights and my Lululmon joggers) but hopefully the print skirts and cami make it more fun.

With two sons I doubt shopping will be at the top of their agenda but thinking of a couple of tees, some new sneakers, a bag and a scarf!! And I would not say no to jewelry or new Italian shoes.

This time of year you will get lots of arugula. Yum, the pastries for Easter in the shop windows are gorgeous.. you might enjoy seeing some of the reglious services as you will be there for Holy Week. There are some impressive processions, especially at the cathedral in Milan.

I vote the bomber too. You'll be right at home in glitzy glam Italy.

Have a fabulous time!!!!

Yes the bomber! Have a great trip-and eat some tiramisu and pasta arrabiata for me

Looks great, sweet Sal. Hope you're having the time of your life, and much love to you. xo

A further update!! The capsule worked really well for me - and everything was worn at least once. My swimsuit only once - everything else at least twice.

I could have removed one bottom - either the olive crops or one skirt, but I didn't need to. MVP goes to all the shoes, the pink puffer bomber, the gold silky bomber, and my black tops x 3. We had a full range of temps from 38 in Dubai to very cold starts twice in Rome and a windy wet cold day in Garda. I needed the sandals in Dubai and wore them in Italy too - but I also needed the puffer (on the coldest days worn with a scarf). I wore the two piece dress to Friday Brunch in Dubai, the top once out to dinner with the gold bomber, and the skirt a couple of times with black tops.

My only travelling packing regret was my luggage. We took backpacks and they are old and heavy. We had times of needing to walk 500m to 1.5km and I find wheeled luggage does not cope on cobbles etc. I should have upgraded my bag as it was very heavy and I found that harder to carry than I did in my 20s.... For some reason I am a cheapskate with luggage!

I did make some purchases - a yellow cross body bag (from small shop in Rome), white Diadora sneakers, two basic long sleeve cotton knit tops (Benetton)- and one or two scarves - I bought three with one or two intended as gifts. I am not brilliant at shopping on holiday.

I will post a bit more off topic in due course about some observations and the trip in a couple of days.

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that your capsule generally worked well. And yes, carrying luggage can be a struggle ...

I look forward to reading about your observations and the trip.

Great to hear that your travel capsule worked really well! Sounds like good shopping too. Heavy luggage is a pain, I know...
I love the yellow bag you found in Rome. I was in Rome five years ago and found an amazing black patent leather handbag in a little shop selling their own leather goods. I tried to find a website later and see if I could order some things, but they didn’t have one.

I love hearing the updates. Interesting about the luggage too.

YAY. Glad it all worked out, Sal. And that you were warm enough! Excited to see the new loot. Hello bag!

Good luggage is VERY important, and I learned the hard way how to get that right. Sorry you battled. Happy to brain storm luggage options with you. Welcome back!